Most people grow flowers strictly for their aesthetic value. Not many people realize that there are a lot of flower varieties that can be eaten. Flowers can bring amazing flavor and color to salads, and make stunning decorations for cakes and other dishes.
Flowers can also be used to make teas, and their flavor extracts can be used in cakes, frostings, candies, and other foods. Many flowers are also very good for you. Roses are very high in vitamin C, especially rose hips.
Nasturtiums and marigolds also have a decent amount of vitamin C, and dandelion flowers contain both vitamin C and vitamin A. If a flower isn’t poisonous, it’s considered technically edible, but not all edible flowers are tasty.
Just keep in mind that you should be absolutely certain what you’re eating, because some flowers have poisonous look-alikes! You should never eat flowers if you have hay fever, asthma, or other allergies.
Never eat flowers that have been sprayed with any type of pesticide. And be sure to choose only blossoms that haven’t wilted. Remember, even edible flowers should be eaten in moderate amounts.
Some people may still have minor reactions to large amounts of edible flowers. Some common flowering plants should NEVER be eaten. Lily-of-the-valley is highly toxic, for example. Other flowers that shouldn’t be eaten include hydrangeas, azaleas, daffodils, wisteria, lupines, hyacinths, castor beans, rhododendrons, sweet peas, clematis, bleeding hearts, oleander, and calla lilies.
This is just a partial list! Always carefully research any flower before eating it, and even check varieties of the same type of flower. For landscaping purposes, you should probably concentrate on perennials.
Now let’s look at some of the very best blooming plants and flowers for landscaping. Remember, these are all perennials, since our purpose is creating landscaping:
- Dianthus comes in shades of red, white, and pink. It tastes similar to cloves.
- Daylilies come in many colors and taste a bit like squash or asparagus.
- Red clover has pink or red flowers that taste delicate and sweet.
- Tulips are mild and sweet and come in many different colors.
- Violets are slightly sweet, slightly sour. They come in pink, white, purple, and blue.
- Chives have beautiful pink globes of blossoms that taste very much like onions.
- Bee balm has pink, red, white, and lavender flowers that taste a bit like tea.
- Hollyhocks are slightly bitter and come in many colors.
- Borage tastes a lot like cucumbers, and comes in blue, purple, and lavender.
Perennials will continue to come back year after year, without the need for replanting each year. This is a very important part of landscaping, since landscaping should require only minimal maintenance.